Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan?

Let’s throw down some ‘did-you-know's (courtesy of the Red Cross):

  • Did you know that only 26% of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan?
  • Did you know that having a working smoke alarm cuts the chance of serious injury or death in a home fire by 50%?
  • Did you know that drawing up and teaching your kids and household members a simple, easy-to-follow home fire escape plan is much less arduous than you think and can be turned into a fun afternoon activity?

Since 2000, the American Red Cross has been called in to assist with 10% more home fires every year. Remedying that climb in annual accidents starts with a simple task that you can hop up out of your chair and complete in the next three minutes. We’ll wait right here as you check the smoke alarms in your house.

Wait! Before you go, in addition to ensuring each existing alarm is functioning properly, also verify that there’s an alarm in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home.

Okay now, ready, go! (If you’ve already checked your smoke alarms in the last month, kudos to you! Check up on some more smoke alarm facts on the National Fire Protection Association website.)

The next step is to sketch up a plan for when things take a turn for the worse. The most integral parts of the plan are numbered below, and more information can be found here.

1. Emphasize the most important aspect of fire safety to your kids: if there’s a fire, get outside and stay outside.

2. Find a meeting point away from the house for finding each other in case of emergency.

3. Walk through your house and inspect all possible exits from each room.

4. If you live in a multi-level house, consider buying a fire-escape ladder like this one and putting one nearby a window on every upper-level bedroom. Practice using it with your kids.

In addition to the plan, make sure kids know the basics of emergency reactions like avoiding doors that are warm to the touch, how to “Stop, Drop, and Roll”, and how to call 911.

A good plan and basic education can do so much to prevent a disaster, or at least lessen the panic if a dangerous situation arises. In addition to having a fire escape, you should also learn how to prepare for a wildfire if you live in any state affected by wildfires. Practice semi-annually, and connect with us at GoHealth Urgent Care for more on how to keep your family safe and happy. 

Written by Sarah Thebarge, Physician Assistant